Back in the 70’s during the “Jesus Movement” I got myself an orange round sticker that said in thick, bold, black letters, “Jesus Loves You” and put it on my guitar. I took my guitar with me everywhere. It was a lot easier to carry than my piano (my first love) and I figured I found a way to tell the world where my music and countenance was coming from!
During this special time at a Jesus rally, I learned the difference between the word “condemnation” and the word “discernment” which were always dictated in the Bible under the word “judge”. For instance, Matthew 7:1, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” Then there is the scripture, I Corinthians 2:15, “He that is spiritual judges all things. . .”
The Greek word for judge in Matthew is krino = “to distinguish, to condemn, conclude, damn, decree, and to sentence” (The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance) and the word judge in I Corinthians 2:15 is anakrino = to scrutinize, interrogate, determine, examine, ask, question, and discern. In context when reading the Matthew scripture, we know it means to not condemn someone, whereas in the context when reading the Corinthians scripture, it clearly means we are to discern, determine, and examine things spiritually. No condemnation here! Just know the right or the wrong in the instance.
With this in mind, our next question is, “Is this necessary for this day and age, and how so?” Since salvation is critical, then to be able to discern between that which is spiritually correct or incorrect is critical. “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Matt. 24:24
The Holy Spirit is our lamp and our light to direct our path. If we walk out of (get out of step with) Holiness, or see something that is not holy, then the peace of Christ that Holy Spirit gives us becomes unsettled. Have you ever felt something wasn’t right and you felt agitated, but couldn’t put your finger on it? Probably it’s because the Holy Spirit got quenched somehow. You pray and He reveals to you what is out of order, you repent, then the peace resumes and all is well!
If that action goes unchecked, then the door opens for more darkness. This happens little by little to those (Christians) who walk in sin (selfishness) until their conscience becomes dull to the truth, even to the point of anger when the light or truth is presented to them. If Holy Spirit gets quenched that much, (regardless of all the good things you do and sing about HIM) then you will not be able to discern when the bigger stuff happens to challenge the truth that lies within you.
A good checkpoint is, “Do I act more like the world than I act like Jesus?” Or ask yourself, “What does God’s Word say about this situation, or that person or situation?”
But let’s break it down even more into our everyday life. What if you are talking with someone and strife starts to enter the picture. Are you discerning that? Would it be a good thing to know if unity is about to break? If so, does it change how the conversation is going to go? What does God’s Word say about unity? Or how about when someone is talking about someone else, and you discern they are gossiping more than sharing a need to pray about that person? Is it important to know these things? Is it critical to discern to walk the Holy life we’ve been called to walk?
Discernment is key to knowing God’s will for you. There is no salvation apart of His will. If you get a “check” in your spirit about something, slow down and stop! Find out why from the Lord. Can save your life. Pray without ceasing is that simple. You are thinking God all of the time, and when an instance comes up, you just shoot up a prayer and listen! Easy. : )
How about what you are taught from the pulpit or Christian TV? Just because someone labels himself as a Christian, Christian group, (et al), does that mean they are leading you to walk closer with Christ and be perfect like Him? There are innumerous accounts of people who have had died or had visions of hell (as well as heaven) and have seen pastors and people of their congregation in hell with them. Now does discernment become critical?
Unfortunately, we Christians not walking in discernment have picked up a lot of the worldly habits and are sounding more and more like them. Here is a colossal example: Oh my G __! Now we all know this swearing habit came from the world lonnnnnnnng before Christians started using this phrase. How is it that so many of us have picked up this form of disrespect to our Lord? Why are we not discerning its origin or discerning that the Holy Spirit is not in this? If you cannot use the Lord’s name in Holiness, then you simply do not speak it! This deserves a whole article on its own. Do not be deceived. It’s never about being religious or not being religious. It’s about being like Jesus, which is all about being HOLY.
Let us go back to our first love in the Lord getting excited to please Him, walk uprightly in joy and love, and be a shining light of our precious Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit is ALWAYS HOLY.
Let’s pray. “Lord God Almighty, I repent of not wanting to see the Light so I would not have to change. Please forgive me for being apathetic toward the things that YOU value and help me to discern Your Light from darkness so that I will stay in the Light. I want to please only You and walk in Your glorious revelation of Who You want to be in me into more glorious revelation of Who You want to be in me, (from glory to glory)! In Jesus’ precious name, thank You. Amen.”
For more reading on God’s thoughts concerning His Light (to help us discern all things)> > >
I John 1:5-8. “This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
I John 2:6. He that says he abides in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.
I John 2:15. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
James 3:13-18“. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”
God bless you